Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Ways Teachers Can Use Technology to Help Students

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Aug 4, 2017 2:53 AM

"Technology will never replace great teachers, but in the hands of great teachers it's transformational."-George Couros. Although there are two sides to the debate surrounding technology and learning, it is becoming increasingly difficult to argue away the benefits of integrating the two principles for a better classroom experience. One school in New York's Hudson Valley uses technology to personalize their kindergartner's learning experience, leading to improved test scores and increased graduation rates. As more schools see technology as a tool as opposed to a distraction, teachers can use more and more applications to help students.

Learning Apps

Applications are available to solve most any day-to-day issue from finding cheaper gas to counting calories. Rather than view apps as another downside to screen time, teachers can capitalize on the all-encompassing range of content available. By adding even a single tablet to the classroom, teachers can take advantage of one of the hundreds of educational applications out there. 50 Fab Apps for Teachers is a comprehensive list of apps, some of which are free, that will capture the attention of their pupils.

Blogging

While games and integrative learning apps are likely to have students fighting over the classroom computer, teachers can still capture their students' attention by going low key. Children can integrate themselves into the technological landscape by journaling or keeping a diary through blog platforms like Bloggers and Wordpress. Better yet, the whole class can get on board and develop a website for the classroom and include blogging as one of the dimensions. Photos, scanned projects and papers can be uploaded to share with students, parents and others while still keeping control with privacy, users and content. This blogger offers a comprehensive step-by-step guide for getting a classroom blog started.

Youtube

For pre-schoolers and younger students, a video-based platform like Youtube is great for personalizing the learning experience without requiring interaction. Teachers can use various videos for teaching the alphabet, animal identification, and myriad of other basic info for little ones. By integrating fun graphics with silly lyrics, songs like Finger Family Songs Nursery Rhymes become ingrained in little minds for learning through memorization.

Webquests

Inquiry-oriented activities like those found in webquests are another great way teachers can use technology to help their students. While using webquests students are encouraged to use knowledge and research found on the web, thereby increasing their knowledge of the subject while honing internet research skills. In addition to using webquests in the classroom, some teachers are challenging their pupils to creating their own webquests using web-based software like Zunal, in which users can create without having to write any HTML codes.

Blended Learning

There is another solution where students benefit from independent learning and activities as well as professional guidance. Blended learning integrates face-to-face instruction with technology and online courses that allow for students to work at their own pace and comfort level. Caitlin R. Tucker is a teacher who found success in this particular platform and offers five tips for exploring the process. She recommends replacing current activities with technology as opposed to adding it to curriculum. Using a discussion board, as opposed to classroom printouts, and other ideas are peppered throughout her article, which is a great place for rookie teachers to explore the concept of blended learning.

Educational professionals need not rely wholly on technology, nor do they need to fear the inevitable. Choosing one or two ways to merge traditional teaching with technological advances is a great way to capture students' attention and increase learning retention. Additionally, taking advantage of available advances also allows education to continue outside of the classroom. There are many ways teachers can help students through technological platforms, but in the process the teacher may just become the pupil and learn to help themselves along the way.

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